Become a top learning company in 2013

by | Dec 30, 2012 | Articles

It’s time to revisit your personalised benchmark report to uncover how you can accelerate business results and improve efficiency with learning technologies.

The expectations from learning technologies are higher than ever this year, but achieving success across all the drivers for implementation will mean a step change in behaviours for many organisations.

Mature implementation approaches help organisations realise that potential. When we compare the results reported by organisations in the top quartile of the Towards Maturity Index with those in the bottom quartile of the index, we find that top performing organisations are:

7x  more likely to report:

  • Improved staff motivation and employee engagement
  • Improved talent/performance management
  • Increased  ability to tailor programmes to need
  • Staff able to apply  learning faster
  • Improvements in productivity

3x more likely to report:

  • Improved ability to prove compliance
  • Improved induction processes
  • Reduction in time away from job
  • Reduced training costs

Benchmarking against the best

Twice as many top performing organisations actively use formal benchmarking as a performance improvement tool compared with the sample as a whole. Furthermore, 1 in 2 informally benchmark their learning strategy and practices against other companies in their industry sector (21% overall).

The Towards Maturity Benchmark allows organisations not only to compare their implementation with others, but give a breakdown of areas of strength and weakness in the 6 workstreams of the Towards Maturity Model that characterise top performing organisations.

These six workstreams of effective practice are at the heart of the Towards Maturity Index (TMI) . The Towards Maturity Index is the single index figure from 1 – 100 that each participant in the 2012 study received to benchmark the maturity of their implementation of learning technologies against these six workstreams.

The Towards Maturity Benchmarking process provides a personalised report  to help  L&D professionals to not only compare their implementation approaches and results with the top performers, but also track their developments over time. The benchmark process and TMI allows you to review your own progress, compare your results with the top performing companies to identify your own strengths and weaknesses and then to ACT on the findings.

Organisations that completed the benchmark study in 2012 were provided with a free personalised benchmark report (valued at £300) in August or September last year outlining strengths and weaknesses compared with the 500 organisations who took part in 2011. Chapter  6 in the 2012-13 benchmark report below provides comparison data for 2012.


How to use your Personalised Benchmark report to support your 2013 strategy.

If you are one of the 400+ recipients of a personalised benchmarking report in summer 2012, the data outlined in table 8 and 7 in the 2012-13 Industry Benchmark Study below (page 46) give a direct comparison with current data.

  • If your score in any workstream or action area falls below the 2012 average – pause and reflect on what the cause of this might be. Revisit your responses and consider those statements where your scores were lowest. (www.towardsmaturity.org/mybenchmark) What are the priorities for action moving forward?
  • If your score is over the TM Benchmark 2012/3 value – well done! However, consider the drivers for adoption of learning technologies in your organisation – are you achieving the benefits you hoped for? Can you set goals for achievement in the short term?

Performance accelerators

To kick start the process, we have identified a number of areas that might be worth considering in 2013. Certain factors within each workstream appear to be ‘performance accelerators’ – setting the high performing organisations apart. Whilst we expect those in the top quartile to be leading the way in terms of implementation strategy for example, there is a disproportionate increase in programme impact as a result.

NB. The TMI has been calculated from all implementation behaviours in the TM model. As a result those in the top quartile of the TMI, by definition, will score higher across all of the action areas within this model. However, we found a number of specific actions within the Towards Maturity Model were at least twice as likely to be implemented in top quartile organisations than in any other quartile. This ‘accelerator’ pattern is illustrated in this graph.

Accelerators include the following where top learning companies (compared to the average) are at least twice as likely to:

  • Set an organisational wide strategy for technology enabled learning
  • Ensure that the strategy allows for changing business priorities
  • Support career aspirations (or personal job goals) with technology enabled learning
  • Influence their organisation’s social media policy
  • Integrate learning technologies into the way they performance manage and appraise people
  • Audit the skills of their L&D staff against those required.

Not too late to benchmark

You can benchmark your current approach with your peers by discovering  your own Towards Maturity Index (TMI) – a measurement of good practice in their organisation and view your progress against the 6 work streams of good practice via our benchmark centre.  www.towardsmaturity.org/mybenchmark.

If you are not already registered  to this site, you will need to do so to download the report below.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti

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